Updated: Jun 10
Noble Hill is located on the the granite slopes of the Simonsberg mountains - it is a great place to visit not only for their wines but also the estate has a restaurant which serves Mexican style food and you can enjoy at a table on their stoop in the shade or picnic beside the lake.
Obviously at the moment like everywhere else the tasting room and restaurant are shut and South Africa has stopped the sale and movement of wine since the beginning of April.
Read on to see what Kristopher the owner and winemaker says as to how Noble Hill is continuing to function at this time.
"We finished our olive harvest during the lockdown, and have prepared for upcoming bottling. We’ve just bottled our estate olive oil, and are working on selling this locally as its one of the only products we are allowed to sell at the moment domestically.
We are working with a skeleton crew, everyone wearing masks, and maintaining strict hygiene.
The farm is closed to the public, and with no local sales, times are tough. I’ve been encouraged by new export orders from UK, Singapore and Korea, and so along with our existing export markets I am hoping to maintain enough cashflow to survive through the local sales prohibition via export sales.
The restaurant staff has all gone home, and we have tried to pay them a stipend but we won’t be able to do so indefinitely with the restaurant closed.
We have applied for some government funds to pay workers who are staying home,
although this only replaces a small percentage of wages. It’s certainly not a sustainable situation. However, we are trying to be resilient and adaptive and realistic. Optimsitically, we’d like alcohol sales to resume in South Africa online and for curtsied pick-up, and this would allow our restaurant crew perhaps to make some take-home meals that we could sell alongside our wines from the winery.
Sadly the COVID pandemic has sort of overshadowed the 2020 harvest/vintage, which I have to say is one of the best ones in my memory. The reasonable temperatures, consistent ripening, and abundant yield made the 2020 wines really memorable. I hope these wines will have their day in the sunshine at some point, as I am quite proud of them even though they’ve been made at a tough time in the world.
I hope everyone in UK is doing OK and enjoying the springtime while the days here get shorter and shorter and winter is just around the corner! Pretty soon we’ll start pruning and I just hope that everyone can stay healthy because this is an activity for which we will need very much to have workers on the farm.
The good news is that all our vineyard work happens at a good distance even in normal times, so it’s pretty easy to stay a safe distance from each other when working in the vineyard.
Thank you Kristopher for your indepth reply to my begging email for lockdown details!
Noble Hill wines here at carte-du-vin are very popular and as our shipment of wines ordered in February are still to arrive in the UK we can only have the following in stock at the moment.
Syrah - £12.95
Merlot - £14.50